Friday, 22 January 2010

2nd Millinery Course - Week 15

Well, new term and back to the millinery course. I missed two lessons while I was in India, one of which was the drawing lesson, the other was starting to build the designs we’ve put together.

My design is developing nicely. You may remember I was basing it around a mirror I saw in a hotel – the white surround and the gothic style. I’ve done lots of background research on the style with mirrors, interior design and in fashion and have developed this sketch:

There were a few things I wanted to get through in the design:
· Seeing through things – a mirror may be a solid surface, but the image appears behind it, at a distance. I wanted to get the impression of looking through something so the design has part of the hat missing and replaced by a wire frame. This allows you to see into the hat as well as through it, so I’ve made sure it’s lined.
· At the edge, where you go from the felt to the frame, the hat is frayed and damaged-looking. This ‘deconstructed’ look jumped out at me a lot in my research and I like the way it fits in with the frame.
· The general shape is based around a top hat. This classic shape gives an elegance, and the fact that it’s ‘old fashioned’ fits with the idea that it has been damaged over time to lead to the part of it being missing.
· The lining is very luxurious – it’s going to be a silk I picked up in India – very detailed and beautiful bold colours. It’s a sort of paisley pattern that again I feel fits with the idea that this is a very old hat.
· Size-wise, I haven’t fully decided if I want this to be a full size topper or a percher yet. I need to have a play with how it fits with the design.
· And colour-wise I’m not yet sure if I want to go for a classic black so that it feels like a very traditional hat with lots of stuff going on, or if I should pull out the blue from the lining. For this second option I think there may be too much going on so I’m leaning towards black.
· Materials – I’m pushing towards felt, but not sure how the edge would look – felt cuts very cleanly and the blocked felt is designed so it doesn’t rip under pressure. Sinamay would fray well, but I don’t know if it would look ‘right’
· And finally to bring the mirror thing in, and another inspiration from India I’m going to decorate little teeny craft mirrors like the original mirror and suspend them in the hat. Hopefully this will make it sparkly and reflect the lining out.

So, this week’s course was used for experimentation. I started by blocking some sinamay on a crown so that I could have a play with fraying it. I also had a play with some scraps of felt, but hadn’t had the chance to pick up a cheap hood so couldn’t do any proper investigation there. With the scraps I got some quite nice edges, but the felt stretched when I ripped it which may cause problems. Next week I’m going to try blocking a felt then ripping it, and ripping a hood and then blocking it to see if either works. I’m also going to have a play with ways to get an effect on the edge of the felt – I’ll get the tool box out.

I had some time and some sinamay left over so I blocked a tiny little pillbox crown with three layers of polkadots. I love the way the dots don’t quite line up. It makes them look 3D and like they’ve got shadows.

Photos to follow – it’s a bit of a manic week…

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